This Week on RC

Week #981: The Boiler Room

Posted by Matt P. on 01.17.19 § Permalink | Comment?

Chooser: Bruno

Restaurant Club: Boiler Room
Date: Friday, January 18th, I’m thinking 6pm but could be flexible if other people want to push it to 6:30 or whatever.
Where: 2210 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 (Map)
Contact: (773) 276-5625 //
Cuisine: Pizza / Bars (Menu)
Price Range: $$
Alcohol: Full Bar
Reviews: Yelp (3.5 Stars, 847 Reviews)
Bruno’s Favorite Pizza in the City: Yes
Bruno Will Fight You on It: Yes
But Chicago, Deep Dish, etc: Get The Hell Out of Here
Good for Kids: Website says, and I quote, “21 and over establishment. Please have ID upon entry. Small children exceptions are made.”
Spacca Napoli, Tho: Strong second place.
Accepts Credit Cards: No, but if you give the bartender your ATM receipt, you get a free shot of Jameson. It’s true.
Have You Ever Had Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder, Because I Love How…: Let me stop you right there.
Transportation: Blue Line (California stop)
Parking: Street
Come On, Pequod’s: I Get It. I Do. But No.

This pick was inspired by me just finding out that this Thursday is something called “Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day.” From what I now understand, January 17th is the most common date people abandon their resolutions, according to… the internet. Either way, if you’re the kind of person who was optimistic about keeping your carbs down and your alcohol consumption low in 2019 and is ready to blow those all to hell this week, let’s celebrate DYNYRD by going out the next day and eating at a place known for their $10 slice of pizza + PBR tall boy + shot of Jameson special (also: whisky ice cream).

No reservations so just let me know by Friday afternoon just so we know what to expect.

The Boiler Room

This Week on RC

Week #980: McDonald’s Global Menu Restaurant

Posted by Matt P. on 01.09.19 § Permalink | Comment?

Chooser: Katie F.

Restaurant Club: McDonald’s Global Menu Restaurant
Date: Friday, January 11th @ 6pm
Where: 110 N. Carpenter St., Chicago, IL 60607 (Map)
Contact: 312-291-9224 // // Facebook
Cuisine: Fast Food / Burgers
Price Range: $
Alcohol: Only in flasks
Good for Kids: You betcha
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Transportation: Green Line (Morgan stop)
Parking: Street
Reviews: Yelp (3.5 stars, 46 reviews)

Did you know there’s a restaurant at the new McDonald’s west loop headquarters that serves random international selections of McDonald’s items? Sounds like RC fast food fun to me.

“The more than 6,000-square-foot restaurant is one of the latest McDonald’s Experience of the Future (EOTF) restaurants designed to dramatically transform the customer experience with modern designs, self-order kiosks, table service, mobile order and payment, McDelivery with Uber Eats and enhanced hospitality. The restaurant also features outdoor seating, and an ever-changing wall map with Golden Arches that illuminate when an item from a specific country is featured on the menu, and An Australian McCafé area serving up expertly brewed coffee crafted by McDonald’s trained baristas.”

“McDonald’s Global Headquarters Restaurant Updates International Menu Items with Favorites from India, France and Australia”

“I Ate Everything on the Menu at McDonald’s New Global Restaurant”

Afterwards we can troll the west loop for beer and/or cocktails…

Please let me know by friday at noon if you are coming — or just show up? :)

McDonald’s Global Menu Restaurant

This Week on RC

Week #979: Luella’s Gospel Bird

Posted by Matt P. on 01.03.19 § Permalink | Comment?

Chooser: Drew

Restaurant Club: Luella’s Gospel Bird
Date: Friday, January 4th @ 6pm
Where: 2009 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 (Map)
Contact: 773-904-7704 //
Cuisine: Southern
Price Range: $-$$
Alcohol: BYOB
Good for Kids: Maybe
Good for Your Arteries:Maybe not…
Reviews: Yelp (4.5 starts, 32 reviews)

Happy New Year, Restaurant Clubbers!

Don’t cinch those belts just yet …

Indeed, please join Nina and me for some final holiday indulging—of the southern-fried-chicken variety.

There isn’t much on the menu at Luella’s Gospel Bird, by chef Darnell Reed, so my hunch is that what is on the menu is mighty tasty. And if the name sounds familiar, it might be because you were one of the lucky RC diners who joined me for my pick way back in April of 2015 (RC #784), which was Luella’s Southern Kitchen, Reed’s first restaurant—and a great one to boot.

No reservations at this joint, I don’t believe, but I’m not expecting a large group this close after the holiday, so I think a small group should be fine for a 6pm dinner.

Hope y’all can make it!


Luella's Gospel Bird

This Week on RC

Week #978: Bar Sótano

Posted by Matt P. on 12.28.18 § Permalink | Comment?

Chooser: Elizabeth

Restaurant Club: Bar Sótano
Date: Friday, December 28th @ 6:15pm (please note the start time)
Where: 443 N. Clark St. (entrance in alley), Chicago, IL 60654 (Map)
Contact: 312-391-5857 //
Cuisine: Mexican / Seafood (Menu)
Price Range: $$-$$$
Alcohol: Full Bar with an emphasis on mezcal cocktails
Takes Reservations: Kind of
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Good for Kids: Probably not
Parking: Street (although Topolobampo offers valet, which I’m assuming one could use)
Public Transportation: Red Line (Grand stop)
Reviews: Yelp (3.5 Stars, 15 Reviews)

Earth people – Apologies another delayed R.C. invitation from the Priest family, but our location has been making it difficult to determine which of us can attend, at what time and whether or not we’ll be bringing Sawyer Anyway…

I’m going to cover for Jen this week and at the risk of type-casting myself, I’m choosing another new Rick Bayless restaurant. And as if it were something I concocted in a dream, this one serves mezcal-focused cocktails in addition to food inspired by Mexico’s markets.

I realize it’s last minute and this falls in between two big holidays, but we’re hoping a few of you might still be able to join us. The restaurant’s capacity is 50 and for the most part, it’s intended for walk-in seating. I called about a possible reservation, but came up empty. But let’s shoot for 6:15pm and see how it goes; I don’t expect we’ll have a very big group. Please let me know by 4pm tomorrow if you’re planning to join us. Also, please note that the entrance is located in the alley behind Xoco / Topolobampo / Frontera. I believe a service elevator will be there to take you downstairs to Sótano…

“Bar Sótano takes you deep into the heart of Mexico, away from the beaches and Big Bus tours. Bar Sótano’s lifeline is the markets. Where aromatic waves wash over you from the fruit stalls. Where meat vendors set out every part of the pig as a prize. Where herb stands promise health in a hundred or more flavors. Where chiles transform from a single-note spice to a symphonic full-body experience.

Mexico’s cuisine, of course, is an ancient and complex one, always adapting and evolving from its millennia-old indigenous roots through encounters with the kitchens of Spain, Islam, Southeast Asia, France and its neighbors to the north. Which means that the country’s collective cookbook is vast, and the craftsmanship of those who keep these flavors alive is remarkable. True, too, of those who craft dozens of agave varieties into distillates called mezcal or sotol or raicilla or bacanora or tequila. Just like the markets, Mexico’s master distillers offer a nearly unfathomable variety of flavors.

Welcome to Bar Sótano!”

Bar Sótano

This Week on RC

Week #977: Bistro Campagne

Posted by Matt P. on 12.21.18 § Permalink | Comments Off on Week #977: Bistro Campagne

Chooser: Elizabeth

Restaurant Club: Bistro Campagne
Date: Friday, December 21st @ 6pm
Where: 4518 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 (Map)
Contact: 773-271-6100 //
Cuisine: French
Price Range: $$$
Alcohol: Yes
Takes Reservations: Yes
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Good for Kids: Not really
Parking: Street
Public Transportation: Western Brown Line
Reviews: Yelp (4 Stars, 648 Reviews)

Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas, Restaurant Club!!

Jeff and I will be in Chicago this weekend–join us for dinner at Bistro Campagne, won’t you?

The last time RC visited BC, it was 2006. According to, “The headlines in 2006 were marked by death, scandal and politics: Nuclear saber-rattling in Iran, North Korea. “Crocodile Hunter” killed. Ex-Russian spy poisoned. Democrats win midterms.” Twelve years on, not so much has changed, I guess, and Bistro Campagne is still cooking up French bistro classics served in Chicago’s coziest dining room.

I’ve got a reservation for eight people at 6 PM. If we get more than that I’ll try to beg for a bigger table or move to a different restaurant, worst case.

After dinner Jeff and I plan to do a post-RC Drunk Club at Schubas Tavern.

Hope to see you there,
~ Elizabeth

And in case you’re curious about the Top 10 Restaurants of 2006:

1. Kitchen Chicago (Sunday Dinner Chicago) (“Underground” organic in Ravenswood Manor)
2. Wave (Contemporary American/Mediterranean in Streeterville)
3. Glenn’s Diner (Seafood and breakfast in Ravenswood)
4. Sola (Contemporary American/Asian in North Center)
5. Bistro Campagne (French in Lincoln Square)
6. Twisted Spoke (Burgers & BBQ in Lakeview)
7. Mia Francesca (Italian in Lakeview)
8. Simply It (Vietnamese in Lincoln Park)
9. Feed (Soul food in Humboldt Park)
10. Kuma’s Corner (Bar food in Logan Square)

Bistro Campagne

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